Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Late Bronze Age gold hair ring

This is a small penannular ring consisting of gold foil wrapped around a non-precious metal core, probably made from unalloyed copper. The ring is circular and has a circular section with flat-ended, unelaborated terminals that do not meet. Small penannular rings of gold or decorated with gold foil have traditionally been referred to as ‘hair-rings’ or ‘ring-money’, though their exact function is unknown. They are most frequent in Ireland, but are increasingly known from Wales and southern England, as well as in Scotland, France and the Low Countries. Four further examples in Wales are known from Graianog Farm, Gwynedd, St Donats, Vale of Glamorgan, and Port Eynon, Swansea, as well as one from the Cwm Cadnant hoard, Anglesey.

Project Title: Gold in Britain’s auriferous regions, 2450-800 BC: towards a coherent Research Framework and Strategy. Status: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Network Grant funded project (2018-2019)


Collection Area

Archaeology & Numismatics

Item Number


Find Information

Site Name: Brynmill, Swansea Bay

Collection Method: metal detector

Notes: Single find. This ring was found while metal-detecting on the foreshore near Brynmill in Swansea Bay. The ring was about 15cm deep within the clay.


Treasure (1996 Treasure Act)


(): external diameter / mm:17.1
(): diameter / mm
(): internal diameter / mm:5.3
(): diameter / mm
(): thickness / mm:6.0
(): weight / g:7.31




St Fagans Life Is gallery : Bronze Age and Iron Age Adornment

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